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rzt May 4th, 2004 04:35 PM

Driving From Tuscany to Puglia - Need Advice
We are renting a house in southern Tuscany (near Cetona) first week of August with another family (total of 4 kids under age of 5). We are looking for somewhere to go the second week, and our friends are extremely interested in Puglia, as it is off-the-beaten path. From what I have researched, it seems like a long drive and very difficult to find accommodations. Does anyone know how far the drive would be and if this idea sounds insane?

buongiorno May 5th, 2004 05:55 AM

Yes, the idea is insane with 4 kids under the age of 5. Puglia is a long and thin region so it depends on what part you intend to visit but if you are going to say Bari for example, you are talking about a 6 hour drive.

owlwoman May 5th, 2004 05:58 AM

With four kids, go to the beach! We spent 4 days in Lerici at the Hotel Miami, right across the street from the beach, you can take a boat to the Cinque Terre or PortoVenere for day trips, which I think would be doable w/4 kids, and only 3-4 hours (maybe) from Tuscany. We took a day trip to Lucca one day. Have a great time!

Jackie_in_Italy May 18th, 2004 02:40 AM

With four kids and 7 days, you will have to stop along the way between Tuscany and Puglia, but I think Puglia is definitely worthy of a trip. It may be off the tourist path, but it is one of the most developed areas in the south with definite tourist sites to take in. I loved Puglia, and I definitely plan to return. Some cities you might be interested in are:
1. Lecce--my favorite of the cities I visited, Lecce has a laid back feel (partly in response to its university, I imagine) and beautiful Baroque art and architecture. The best example of this is the church of Santa Croce, a feast for the eyes. The city is quiet and comfortable, and you can find good food and decent lodging as well.

2. Alberobello: I have never been here, but it must be Puglia's most touristy location with its Trulli houses--fantasy like homes that are white and cylindrical with pointy grey tops. This might be fun for the kids and a nice day stop.

3. Ostuni: White washed Ostuni is like a greek island in the sun, and wandering its old center is delightful. I loved this, and I think, as long as the kids don't get lost in the maze of houses, it would be a good vacation spot. We were there just a day, so I don't know what kind of accomodation there is.

buongiorno said something about staying in Bari (most likely just to show the distance between Tuscany and Puglia), but if you are going to Puglia with children, I might avoid Bari as a base (go there for a day trip maybe). While it apparently has a really nice old center, it's not as safe as some of the other cities, and staying over night there might not be the best idea.

Anyway, if Puglia does turn out to be too far, another region that is definitely off the beaten path is Le Marche (where I live, incidently), and it is definitely worth a visit. Plus, August in the city of Macerata is opera season (outdoor opera season) and should not be missed. Consider the cities of Macerata, Ascoli Piceno, and Urbino as good bases, plus the scenic beach region of Monte Conero (near Ancona).

Good luck and happy travels!

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